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Sharing Your Wisdom: National Volunteer Week

Sharing Your Wisdom: National Volunteer Week

By Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator
Published: April 27, 2017 Updated: April 27, 2017

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon meets with Connecticut District Director Anne Hunt and Frank Alvarado of the SBA’s Bridgeport office
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon meets with Connecticut District Director
Anne Hunt and Frank Alvarado of the SBA’s Bridgeport office

 

“We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.”

This quote, attributed to Winston Churchill though often disputed as to whether he actually said it, is one of my favorite adages. Having been very successful in business, I believe in giving back. I earned a lot of wisdom from taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from experiences, and I see no benefit in keeping what I have learned to myself. I’m a big advocate of mentorship and sharing what I know with those who could benefit.

As Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, I am proud to partner with an organization that helps so many entrepreneurs benefit from the experiences of others: SCORE. During this National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, we salute the SCORE mentors who give their time and expertise to others. These seasoned business people made a living through successfully building businesses; now they are giving back. Hopefully, they too, feel they are getting a benefit – making a life, as the old adage goes.

SCORE’s network of more than 11,000 volunteers represents 62 different industries. More than 320 chapters offer workshops in local communities, online webinars, and confidential advice.

As comprehensive as this network is, I’ve learned there’s a gap.

While visiting my home state of Connecticut, I had the opportunity to meet with SBA District Director Anne Hunt. She said as successful as SCORE has been in helping entrepreneurs start and expand businesses and create jobs, she would like to see more diversity among its volunteers. And she noted Connecticut wasn’t alone in this.

“We are trying to push more bilingual counselors and more women so we better serve the population of business owners in Connecticut,” Hunt said.

Connecticut’s SBA District Office already has staff who speak Spanish and Chinese, but she is eager to find more bilingual counselors and SCORE volunteers to better serve the population of business owners in Connecticut.

“If someone can speak to a counselor in their native language, they may have a higher comfort level in asking for advice,” Hunt said.

Mark Cutler, director of SCORE in Connecticut, also notes that nationally, 58 percent of SCORE’s clients are women, yet only 21 percent of its volunteers are women. He notes there has been progress – just two years ago, just 19 percent of SCORE volunteers were women.

I encourage all entrepreneurs who may have some free time to check out volunteer opportunities with SCORE (https://www.score.org/volunteer). There may be someone eager to hear what you have to say – in any language. And that’s a pretty good reward for your work.

About the Author:

Linda McMahon
Linda McMahon

SBA Administrator

Linda McMahon serves as the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a member of President Trump’s cabinet, she advocates on behalf of the almost 29 million small businesses in America, which employ nearly half of all American workers and account for 56.8 million jobs.